Scholarly Communications Project

The Effect of the Major and Minor Mode in Music as a Mood Induction Procedure


D. Michelle Hinn

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of



John K. Burton, Chair
C. Vernon Burnsed
Glen A. Holmes

March 27, 1996
Blacksburg, Virginia


The effect of major or minor mode in music on the free recall of materials presented in a multimedia setting was investigated. Seventy-seven students from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University voluntarily participated in the experiment. The experiment consisted of three Hypercard stacks, identical except for the introduction where participants heard either a major or a minor melody line or no music. Participants read an identical text passage and recalled as much information as they could about the passage afterwards. The results showed no significant difference between groups.

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